The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Pewter Report Twitter account. You can submit your question each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.
Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the PR Bucs Monday Mailbag.
Question: I know you’re suppose to be impartial, but what does this win mean to you personally? What does it mean to your family?
Answer: Last night I has an opportunity to sit in the stands and for the first time since the Giants playoffs loss in 2007, I got to be fan. It was odd, honestly. I was socially distanced and technically in a media section so it wasn’t like that afternoon in 2007 with my son, or all the countless games I sat through at the old Tampa Stadium with my Dad or friends where we high-fived and hugged and chugged overpriced beers. So knowing how to act took me a while truthfully.
I got there fairly early and soaked in all of the pre-game experience, from the player warmups, to the singing of God Bless America. And when the flyover took place following the conclusion of the national anthem, lets just say it was hard to not have chill bumps seeing something like that in person after either being in a press box or at home on the couch for hundreds of games. It was just as impressive in person as you might imagine.
The game itself needs no real explanation, but I can’t say I was ever completely comfortable as I remembered what the Chiefs did in the fourth quarter last year against the 49ers. But once it got inside of eight minutes I started believing this was really happening. From a selfish standpoint I was thinking about how the win will help PewterReport.com from the business end of things. COVID-19 really did a number on us financially and while things have gotten better with advertisers, a win would be a real shot in the arm where a loss might have let some of the air out of the balloon. So those emotions were part of it as well.
But when the final gun sounded, and the confetti popped, I just soaked it all in and all of those miserable afternoons in the 1980’s, many in the 90’s and plenty over the last 12 years faded away. I don’t know if a smile left my face until I got to my car a couple hours later. I thought back to my first game I went to in 1981 against the Broncos with my Dad for my 11th birthday. I remembered how I felt when Bo Jackson scorned the Buccaneers in 1986. I remembered the 4-2 start to 2011 and then 10 straight losses. All of those miserable times following those teams were worth it on Sunday night as I watched the Buccaneers not only win a Super Bowl, but do so in their home stadium with thousands of their own fans witnessing something that had never done before.
And whenI finally when to sleep somewhere around 3:45 a.m. I almost got up and went to the closet to dig out my orange footie pajamas and terrycloth Bucco Bruce robe I got from Sears Town in Lakeland in 1979. Is it possible to sleep smiling? I’m not sure, but if it is, then that was me last night when my head hit the pillow.
Question: With this win, do you think that should put an end to the never ending search for a “franchise” QB? It seems the best strategy (at least for the Bucs) is to just find the best guy available and draft skill positions.
Answer: This is one of the best questions I’ve had in the mailbag since I started doing this several years ago. The good news is, as of now, it isn’t anything the Buccaneers need to worry about in the immediate time being as Tom Brady told us last week he feels he has a few more years left in the tank. Of course one wrong twist of a knee or a blindside hit could change all that in the matter of one play, but for now the focus will be on trying to fit everyone back in under the salary cap and make a run for two in a row next fall.
I do think it will give general manager Jason Licht and the Glazers something to think about moving forward, even if it is two or three years down the road however. At the same time, this path isn’t normally one that has been successful. The Broncos were able to do it with Peyton Manning and now of course the Buccaneers, but for every Manning and Tom Brady story there are five Philip Rivers or Brett Favre stories that didn’t culminate with a Super Bowl title.
Long-term stability and playoff success normally comes from drafting your quarterback and developing him and the team round him as opposed to try and find one floating around in free agency on the tail end of their career. With that said, Aaron Rodgers might look pretty good in pewter and red in 2024.
Question: Was Todd Bowles hiding things during the regular season expecting to see teams again in the post season? Will Jon Ledyard admit the coaches know what they are doing aren’t behind the times? Lol
Answer: Wow taking shots as Jon! I know you are joking but to his defense the things he was critical about I suspect most fans were also frustrated with. And the things that he criticized – soft zone, lack of play-action and so on – were things the Buccaneers did in fact change down the stretch and were clearly successful with following the bye week. So it wasn’t like Ledyard was ranting that the team needed to switch to a 4-6 defense like the 1985 Bears or incorporate a June Jones’ run-and-shoot offense.
As far as Bowles hiding things, that wasn’t the case. It was more him figuring out what his players could do and process best and fitting all the pieces into place.
When we get married or enter a new relationship we tend to assume things will all be movie-style easy going. But it takes a while to learn what your partner likes, and how to co-exist. I don’t think coaching football is a whole lot different. I could probably have come up with a better analogy, but I think you get the point. You can’t just snap your fingers and everyone be on the same page and it may be even more difficult on the defensive side than offensively too. But hats off to both Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich for pulling all the right strings that culminated with their second Lombardi Trophy.
Question: Better Super Bowl performance by a defense? Last night or vs. the Raiders in 2002?
Answer: Now that is a tough one, but I think I am leaning to this year. The Bucs had a bit of an advantage going into that Raiders game as of course we all know Jon Gruden had been the Raiders coach the previous season and the Raiders were essentially still running Gruden’s offense. In fact, Gruden himself ran some scout squad quarterback in the week leading up the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers defense had a pretty good idea of what was coming from Oakland. And as good as the Raiders were I don’t think they were in the same class as the Chiefs in terms of overall offensive talent.
Another reason why I think this defensive performance was better was the fact that the Chiefs rolled up over 500 yards agains this same defense just over two months ago. I don’t know if anyone thought the Buccaneers would shut Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill out of the end zone completely as they did on Sunday night. If they did, they’d have woken up very rich on Monday morning.
So based on expectations heading into this game versus the 2002 Super Bowl, I’ll go with this 2020 Bucs defense and performance. Not only was it the best in Bucs history, it was one of the best in recent Super Bowl history when you account for the weapons and talent Kansas City had this year.